Chow Bella

What Are the Pros and Cons of Food Festivals?

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Shin Toyoda Sushi Master at Sushi Roku

Food festivals reach a broader spectrum of guests -- more than who would naturally come through the restaurant. They can also represent restaurants in the wrong light because the dishes may not taste as good as they would in the dining room. Food hardly ever comes out perfect when made in mass quantity.

Chef Stephen Toevs The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix

A pro is you get to have fun and hang out with fellow chefs. It's a great time to get out and share a passion of cooking with others. On the other hand, food festivals generally do not result in a large amount of revenue for the restaurant. People go to festivals to eat a lot of food from different vendors, but at the end of the event, everything starts to blur. In the end, the festival does not necessarily bring more diners through the restaurant door.

Brian Dooley, Chef and Owner, Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue

Food festivals are a lot of fun and an opportunity to try many different restaurants in one place. The downside is that much of our dining experiences are directly related to the ambiance and service of the restaurant space itself. It's important to visit the actual restaurant if you really enjoy certain foods at the festival so you get the full dining experience.

Bernie Kantak Chef and Partner, Citizen Public House

Food festivals change up the daily grind and get us out of the kitchen for a day for a little bit of face-to-face with our guests. It's always fun to see what everybody else has come up with to make their booth the most memorable. The downside is they are usually on busy days or Sundays, which make preparation for both the event and daily service a bit more challenging than it should be, especially for us little guys.

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld